A Responsive Sanction to Promote Systematic Compliance? Enforceable Undertakings in Occupational Health and Safety Regulation

Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 21, 280-315, 2008

Griffith Socio-Legal Research Centre, Research Paper No. 09-05

37 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2009 Last revised: 4 Nov 2015

See all articles by Richard Johnstone

Richard Johnstone

Griffith University - Griffith Law School

Michelle King

Australian Centre for Health Law Research

Abstract

This article examines the use of enforceable undertakings in Australian occupational health and safety (OHS) regulation. Enforceable undertakings are promises by persons alleged to have breached their regulatory obligations to do something, which if not done, is enforceable in court. Enforceable undertakings potentially have an important responsive and restorative role to play in a regulatory enforcement strategy to ensure compliance with OHS statutes, and have been used in other areas of business regulation, including trade practices, financial, prudential, consumer, civil aviation, environmental and communications and media regulation. The article then reports on a study of the operation of enforceable undertakings in Queensland to enforce compliance with OHS obligations. We conclude that this early experience of enforceable undertakings in Queensland provides useful guidance as to how the enforceable undertaking provisions might best be implemented elsewhere, and preliminary evidence of the complexities of their likely effectiveness in OHS regulation.

Keywords: Enforceable undertakings, occupational health and safety, OHS, Australia, Queensland, compliance

Suggested Citation

Johnstone, Richard and King, Michelle, A Responsive Sanction to Promote Systematic Compliance? Enforceable Undertakings in Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 21, 280-315, 2008; Griffith Socio-Legal Research Centre, Research Paper No. 09-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1335046

Richard Johnstone (Contact Author)

Griffith University - Griffith Law School ( email )

Nathan Campus, GU
Nathan 4111
Australia
07-3875-3645 (Phone)

Michelle King

Australian Centre for Health Law Research ( email )

Law and Justice Research, C Block, GP
2 George Street, GPO Box 2434
Brisbane, 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.qut.edu.au/law/research/achlr

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